Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 26, 2005
There's something about marrying.Kim Hollis: Let's talk about the legs for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wedding Crashers. Charlie dropped right at 50%, while the Crashers fell 23%. Charlie had a monster weekend last week, so that drop is more or less in line with trending for the summer, but Wedding Crashers is showing probably the best staying power of any film this year. Why isn't Charlie, a kid's film that was strongly reviewed, holding up better? And why is Wedding Crashers the movie that seems to have struck a chord with audiences?
David Mumpower: Wedding Crashers dropping 23% in July of 2005 is every bit as impressive to me as Sixth Sense dropping 3% in August of 1999. That just does not happen any more.
Reagen Sulewski: You would almost say that $56 million is a figure that can't be held, except we know that really isn't true, and with this actor even.
David Mumpower: As to the why of it, I am sure that the company line will be movie quality. Having seen Wedding Crashers, though, I do not see it as being dramatically better than other recent outings such as Dodgeball, Anchorman and Old School. It's inconsistently hilarious but by no means fantastic.
Reagen Sulewski: Wedding Crashers, if it can continue this pace, has a good shot at $175 million. That seems to be the natural center of gravity for this summer.
David Mumpower: One other thing about that, Reagen. I think it answers the previous debate about Harry Potter's potential impact. If people had been kept away last weekend by the book, they would have shown up now. The 50% drop is status quo for huge openers but it's still disappointing for a family-friendly film.
Kim Hollis: Right. I have to think that the drop is partially related to Burton/Depp fanboys showing up immediately in weekend one. Additionally, I do think that the perceived quirkiness is putting some potential viewers of Charlie off.
A new generation of Porky's and Police Academy wannabes?David Mumpower: Both of you have seen Wedding Crashers, right? Do you consider it to be noteworthy with regards to quality?
Kim Hollis: I think that David's Wedding Crashers opinion is actually in the minority. Most of the comments I've seen about it have been glowing (my own included). It's a very, very funny film with a sweet gooey center. It's much like American Pie in that regard, actually.
David Mumpower: If anything, this demonstrates the paucity of quality comedies in 2005. People were just ready for one and as soon as word got out that Wedding Crashers was better than normal, they ran, not walked.
Kim Hollis: I do think that both Wilson and Vaughn have had funnier films, but this one is more far-reaching than most of them have been in the past. I have to say I liked it a little bit less than Dodgeball but it's really just a matter of degrees.
David Mumpower: The interesting thought is that if Stealth disappoints next weekend, Wedding Crashers in week three could overtake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and win the weekend. Such behavior would take us all the way back to Something About Mary, which if I recall correctly did not reach number one until week eight.
Michael Bentley: That's an excellent comparison. As Reagen mentioned before, $175 million seems like a reasonable bet at this point.
Reagen Sulewski: That was another raunchy comedy. Is that a coincidence?
David Mumpower: The Farrelly Brothers must have their cell phones ringing the batteries dead. They're a synonym for raunchy comedy, after all.
Michael Bentley: Their last couple movies have been flops, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see their next one fast tracked because of this.
Kim Hollis: Probably not. I do think that people in general are more inclined to recommend comedies to friends than other stuff, which can really depend on personal preferences.
David Mumpower: Like if someone doesn't like sci-fi or horror, there might not be something out there for them.
We couldn't wait another week to make fun of Stealth.Kim Hollis: For that matter, are people just sick of mindless action flicks? Stealth certainly looks to be a film in that family, which makes me wonder if it's got a tough road ahead of it next weekend.
David Mumpower: Stealth has been a tricky marketing issue all along. It looks generic and the biggest box office draw from it is Jamie Foxx. He's only the third actor in the film and it's not established how much popularity he got from last year's Ray/Collateral combo.
Michael Bentley: I just can't get a good read on Stealth right now. It has "dud" written all over it, but I also can't shake the feeling that it could be a mild success.
Reagen Sulewski: I'm really wondering if we're supposed to be taking this film seriously. I mean, speaking of pranks on the box office.
David Mumpower: Stealth is 2001 meets Top Gun. I can't decide if that is genius or a train wreck of such epic proportions it should star Madonna.
Kim Hollis: Heh. I see it as Short Circuit combined with Deadly Friend combined with Top Gun with a dash of Fast and the Furious. That can't be a good recipe.
David Mumpower: Deadly Friend? Is that a Miho spin-off from Sin City?
Reagen Sulewski: I hope there's a scene where someone holds their head in their hands and sobs, "what have I *done*?!"
David Mumpower: I fear for Foxx. He is after all the funny black friend. His character might as well be named Dead Meat.
Kim Hollis: I actually think the trailer tips what happens to him. I want to see the film just to know if I'm right.
David Mumpower: What would be interesting from a box office perspective is if Stealth opens huge. Rob Cohen suddenly starts to look like the new Michael Bay.
Reagen Sulewski: With special sequel dodging powers!
BOP's Movie Rule #413: everything is better with pandas.Kim Hollis: Speaking of the success of smaller films, March of the Penguins earned $4.3 million and now stands at $9.2 million total. Are we about to see a rash of nature documentaries?
David Mumpower: I think the funny thought is that March of the Penguins could conceivably outperform The Island at the box office. This is great press for Feathers McGraw as he prepares for his first movie appearance in Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Reagen Sulewski: I think studios will certainly try. They are incredibly cheap to produce in blockbuster terms and have enormous upside.
Michael Bentley: Not just nature films, but documentaries in general are doing very well these days. I expect Murderball to hang around for a while too.
Kim Hollis: I do think nature docs will always have at least some degree of interest. March of the Penguins isn't even the first one this year. And Grizzly Man is already coming up in a few weeks.
David Mumpower: And let's not forget that Winged Migration earned over $10 million in 2003.
Reagen Sulewski: Even Microcosmosis's $1.5 million was a king's ransom for docs in 1997.
David Mumpower: The beauty of the cineplex era is that the tiny genre films such as The Devil's Rejects and this can and do find their niche.
Kim Hollis: James Cameron's Aliens of the Deep made more than $6 million.
David Mumpower: Also, Morgan Freeman has three films in the top ten this week, and he does not even appear in two of them. It's nice work if you can get it. I look forward to the inevitable Panda Bears Eat Trout production.
Kim Hollis: A Panda movie is an idea whose time has come. Where the hell is my Kung Fu Panda, anyway?
Reagen Sulewski: So the lesson is, you just need to find a hook. As long as it's not about making tiger cubs fight each other though.
David Mumpower: Unless you are officially in international waters when that happens.